About the Book
Today companies are expected to be flexible and both rapidly responsive and resilient to change, which basically asks them to be Agile. Lack of an overarching theory about how to expand the Agile Manifesto has led to many fragmented attempts to apply Agile company-wide. Yet, doing Agile (the mechanics) is different from being Agile (the mindset). The mindset lets you apply flexible Agile patterns not only for software development teams but for the whole company. Many experts are looking into implementing company-wide Agility. Yet, they work from one perspective. For example:
- A Sociocracy expert might say, “You first need to resolve the power structure, because as long as you have a hierarchy defined as top-down you will not become agile.”
- A Beyond Budgeting expert might say, “Stop fixing the budget annually, because otherwise you won't have the flexibility to react to frequent market changes.”
- An Agile expert might say, “You need to start inspecting and adapting by using regular retrospectives in order to react flexibly, otherwise you will neither be able to learn from the market nor from within your company.”
- An Open Space expert might say, “You need to make space for what you don’t know and can’t control, for totally new things to emerge. If people can follow their passion, you will be able to implement company-wide Agility, otherwise people will just do what they are asked.”
All of these perspectives are true, but the perspective is always from within the discipline. Our new perspective synthesizes these approaches and invites you to take a new, overview perspective that can truly address the challenges of doing business in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world.
About the Authors
Jutta Eckstein works as an independent coach, consultant, and trainer. She holds a M.A. Business Coaching & Change Management, a Dipl.Eng. Product-Engineering, and a B.A. in Education. Her know-how in agile processes is based on over fifteen years’ experience in project and product development. She has helped many teams and organizations all over the world to make the transition to an agile approach. She has a unique experience in applying agile processes within medium-sized to large distributed mission-critical projects. This is also the topic of her books 'Agile Software Development in the Large', 'Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams', and 'Retrospectives for Organizational Change'. She is a member of the AgileAlliance and a member of the program committee of many different European and American conferences in the area of agile development, object-orientation and patterns. At the last election, Jutta has been designated for the Top 100 most im-portant persons of the German IT.
John Buck has extensive management experience with government and corporations, including managing large information technology projects. John is the first person, not native to the Netherlands, to be certified in the sociocracy circle-organization method. A founding member of The Sociocracy Consulting Group, a division of TSG, an international consulting firm headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands, he has introduced sociocracy to a wide range of businesses and organizations, assisting them in designing work and making group decisions effectively by “rewiring” their basic power structure. He earned a Master’s degree from George Washington University and is coauthor of We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy, A Guide to Sociocratic Principles and Methods.